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May 31, 2023


Nicholas A. Brown

(301) 699-3500 x6241

Library Launches Rock Banned Book Club for Pride 2023

Pride Month Lineup Features Hate Crimes Summit, Community Festivals,
Author Events, and Family Programs

Largo, Maryland – This LGBTQ+ Pride Month, the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) is proud to reaffirm its commitment to providing welcoming and inclusive spaces, services, and programs for LGBTQ+ community members and their families. PGCMLS presents LGBTQ+-focused programs year round. Pride Month, which is commemorated nationally in June, provides a platform for sharing the stories of LGBTQ+ Americans with the broader community to advance cross-cultural understanding. PGCMLS’ Pride Month calendar features an appearance by award-winning debut novelist Jeffrey Dale Lofton (“Red Clay Suzie”), a summit on hate crime presented by local and national law enforcement and civil rights agencies, Pride festivals at the Hyattsville (Saturday, June 3) and Bowie (Saturday, June 24) branch libraries, teen and family programs, and the debut of PGCMLS’ Rock Banned Book Club. 

Rock Banned Book Club

According to the American Library Association, 2022 saw the highest number of attempts to challenge and censor books across the United States in recent decades. Most of the top 13 banned books in 2022 center LGBTQ+ identities. As part of ongoing efforts to promote the right to read as a fundamental component of democracy, PGCMLS and the Prince George’s County Office of Human Rights will launch the Rock Banned Book Club this Pride Month with a discussion of “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe on Wednesday, June 14 (6:30 pm) at the Hyattsville Branch Library. 

From June 2023 to June 2024, the Library and Prince George’s County Office of Human Rights will host a monthly discussion of one of the top 13 banned books of 2022. Taking place at branch libraries throughout Prince George’s County on the second Wednesday of the month at 6:30 pm, these discussions will provide book lovers opportunities to deepen their understanding of both contemporary and classic literary works by authors like Toni Morrison, George M. Johnson, and Maia Kobabe. The books are all available for borrowing through PGCMLS’ collections.

Rock Banned Book Club Schedule:

Community Pride Events

PGCMLS, the Prince George’s County Department of Family Services, M-NCPPC Parks & Recreation, and Heart to Hand, Inc., present In the Life: LGBTQ+ Pride Celebration on Saturday, June 3 from 12 to 4 pm at the Hyattsville Branch Library. The event features a panel discussion, interactive vogue and runway workshops, free HIV testing, and an outdoor reception. Featured guests include Hollywood (CEO, KUSH Models Entertainment), Titan Miyake-Mugler (Model, Entrepreneur), Dream, Inc., Sunset Blvd, Inc., Deontre Hancock (CEO, Hoodlvm Streetwear), Liz Merrill (Clinical Social Work/Therapist), Tylik McMillan (Advocate), and Toree Weaver (M-NCPPC). 

The Library hosts its second annual Rainbow Festival on Saturday, June 24 (11 am to 2 pm) at the Bowie Branch Library. This family-friendly event includes performances, opportunities to connect with community service providers, story time, crafts, and a live DJ set. Legendary DC cultural icon Rayceen Pendarvis serves as master of ceremonies. 

The PGCMLS staff community and special guests will also represent Prince George’s County in the Annapolis Pride Parade and Festival (Saturday, June 3) and Capital Pride Parade (Saturday, June 10).

United Against Hate Summit: Identifying, Reporting, and Preventing Acts of Hate

The Prince George’s County Office of Human Rights and PGCMLS host a summit on hate crimes on Wednesday, June 7 (6-7:30 pm) at the Largo-Kettering Branch Library. This timely discussion will address the impacts of the recent rise in hate crimes in Maryland, which have included targeting of the Jewish, LGBTQ+, Black, and immigrant communities, among others. Local and federal officials are working with community members to discuss effective strategies to prevent and respond to hate crimes and incidents. Co-presented by the U.S. Attorney's Office for Maryland, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Prince George's County Office of Human Rights, Prince George's County State's Attorney's Office, PGCMLS, and Prince George’s County Police Department.

Jeffrey Dale Lofton on “Red Clay Suzie”

Washington, DC-based debut author Jeffrey Dale Lofton visits the Laurel Branch Library for an author talk and book signing on Tuesday, June 6 at 6:30 pm. Lofton’s novel, “Red Clay Suzie,” is described as "An intimate exploration of people, place, and identity…[that] opens up the idea of the South into one that is more inclusive and real” (W. Ralph Eubanks). This semi-autobiographical work of contemporary literary fiction tells the coming of age story of Philbet, a young gay man who finds his way in the world with the love of his granddaddy and a series of adventures in his hometown in rural Georgia. Co-presented with the Prince George’s County Office of Human Rights.

Pride Month Schedule

Pride Programs for Adults

Pride Programs for Adults & Teens

Pride Programs for Teens

Pride Programs for Children & Families

Request ADA accommodations at least 72 hours in advance by contacting Ask a Librarian at (240) 455-5451 or Registration is required or recommended for select events. Visit for more information.

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About the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System

The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) helps customers discover and define opportunities that shape their lives. The Library serves the 967,000+ residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland through 19 branch libraries, a 24/7 online library, the County Correctional Center Library, and pop-up services throughout the community. PGCMLS is a responsive and trusted community-driven organization. Programs, services, and outreach activities serve book lovers, immigrants and refugees, job seekers, children, young professionals, seniors, and families alike. PGCMLS is the recipient of two Top Innovator Awards from the Urban Libraries Council (2023 - Democracy; 2021 - Workforce and Economic Development). Learn more at